PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Adam”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. This week it’s Adam, an IT Manager who loves to eat spicy Indian food (when he’s not commenting on Midtown Lunch.)

Name: Adam

Age: 35

Occupation: IT Manager (who doesn’t have a food blog!)

Where in Midtown do you Work?: A French Investment Bank (on 57th St.)

Favorite Kind of Food: Anything spicy, particularly Indian. My favorite “Americanized” Indian restaurant is India Passage in Bay Ridge but my overall favorite is Dakshin in Stamford because of the more interesting menu (I heard they have NYC restaurants, but I’ve only been to their other restaurant in
White Plains, Coromandel). The Midtown Indian restaurants are quite fine: Bay Leaf, Utsav, Jewel of India, Baluchi, and especially Minar (on 46th btw. 6+7th) for a cheap lunch. I’m just as fond of Middle Eastern Kebabs, Shawarma, Falafel, etc (Turkish, Persian, Afghani, and Israeli are what I’ve tried and liked). On the home front, American BBQ (dry rub, not sauced), a grilled rib-eye or roast prime rib with creamed spinach, good pub food (burgers, wings, shepherd’s pie (turnip topped), fish-n-chips), any slow roasted meats, and seafood (shellfish, mollusks, white flesh fish (salmon is the fishiest I can tolerate, and that’s a recent phenomenon). Americanized Chinese food is a staple at home. Growing up in an Italian-American home, I’m partial to home-cooked Italian food and almost never enjoy eating at Italian restaurants (save for osso bucco, sometimes). In general I like most European cuisine (though I could take or leave French food). If I’m going out to dinner, my go-to restaurant is Ipanema (on Brasil Row, 46th Street) and I’m either having the Bife Portugesa (Steak in garlic-wine sauce topped with a fried egg), Vatapa (Bahian Fish Stew), or Carne de Porco Alentejana (Pork and Clam Stew).

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I don’t like Japanese food. I’ve tried it many times and I’m never happy with it. (Let the flames begin!).

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: The famous cart on 53rd & 6th (my go-to now that they have kofta), Carnegie John’s on 56th & 7th (the idea of rib-eye from a cart was scary at first but I’m hooked), El Rey del Sabor (two locations), Bay Leaf for the buffet, the sombrero cart (on 50th btw. 6+7th) , Biryani Cart for Kati Rolls (on 46th & 6th), Certe on 55th btw. 5+6th (the only upscale lunch shop I’ll ever eat from), the cuban place on 56th (Tina’s?) is a new favorite (though it doesn’t top Manhattan Heroes on 26th and 7th if that’s still there).

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? The bank I work for still buys us lunch from Mangia and Cucina, so I often try to save a few bucks by going with the paid lunch option. An exciting day is when they have something other than chicken on the menu.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Too many to name. The highlights for me are El Rey del Sabor, Biryani Cart, Papa Perrone (on 55th btw. Mad+Park), and the Jamaican Dutchy (on 51st and 7th). My office is moving from 57th to 50th and 6th, so I’m looking forward to the places on 46th and 48th that I have yet to try (Hing Won, and the Fried Fish from Aunt Kim’s). Once I move I’ll be sure to research your site for these gems.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I’m already there. Why stick to one really good thing in some remote city when NYC has it all.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Not really. They scare me.

Nice. See what you guys have done? As always if you’d like to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at


  • Ahhh… there we go, maximum cheekage levels have been attained.

  • @Groongerock: Are you counting your off-topic comment?

    I like Osso Bucco as well, does it have a standard meat, because I’ve only had it with Moose.

  • Wouldn’t that be Mooseo Bucco?

    Osso Bucco is traditionally veal shank, but since it really means “hollow bone” or something, it’s likely made from animal shank (at least any that has a yummy marrow).

  • I love bone marrow! Ok I said it, let the jokes begin.

  • Just had the fried fish sandwich from Kim Aunt’s Kitchen. It was fantastic!

  • Mamacita, I want to, but I can’t, since it’s not Friday and I’m not quite that bored… but I have such a good one, damn!

    Adam you had me until you said you don’t like Japanese food, no flames, but seriously, it’s so versatile, you’ve tried EVERY bit of Japanese food and just don’t like ANY of it?

    I got sick at Becco and the other Italian-American people in my life hate that place…

    Also, last one, where’s the best kofta you’ve had in Manhattan? Thanks!

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    @Yvo, so agree with you about the Japanese food. There’s so much to eat aside from sushi and teriyaki. You’ve got curry, tempura, ramen, soba, yakitori, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, oden, grilled fish, pickles, chawanmushi, agedashi tofu, shabu-shabu, okashi. The list just goes on and on. Adam, based on the foods you listed, I just can’t believe you don’t like tonkatsu. Come on! It’s pork and it’s deep-fried! What’s not to love?

    Yvo, this kofta is not in Manhattan but in Queens. But it’s the best I’ve had in the NYC area. Kababish in Jackson Heights. Meat is well-seasoned and they grill it over charcoal. And it’s really cheap. More of a take-out spot than a restaurant. And if you’re squeamish about environs, then this isn’t the place for you. Real bare bones. But I swear, it’s the best Pakistani kofta ever.

  • What I don’t love about tonkatsu (which is my go-to dish when I’m forced to eat Japanese), is it’s too plain and boring. In a Tonkatsu vs. Schnitzel deathmatch, tonkatsu would end up looking like a mcnugget (if it weren’t too chicken to enter the ring).

    Not sure what the best Kofta is. I guess we need to have a KoftaPalooza to compare. I’d put up India Passage’s Sikh Kebab (very kofta-ish) against most others. The kebabs I had at the Persian restaurant were great too. I think that might be Ravagh on 30th st. I’ve never been impressed with the Afghan Kebab house. I’m sure some of the Turkish places around 46th – 48th could throwdown with some good Kofta.

  • Yvo, Japanese is pretty popular, and invariably I’m in a situation where I have to go to a japanese place. I don’t like (“don’t like” just means I don’t prefer, as opposed to “hate”) Teriyaki, Negamaki, Katsu, or Gyoza. Eating them makes me wish I was having a chinese restaurant equivalent. The strongest fish flavor I can handle is Salmon (which only started after age 30), so sushi is really not my thing (plus I don’t like the texture of raw fish).

  • Adam, I’m not going to demand you commit harakiri just because don’t like Japanese food. I can’t say I care that much. But if you wish to cure yourself of this affliction I’d say you should really focus on ramen, or finding a good izakaya. Have you tried Ippudo? Sake Bar Hagi in midtown? I’d recommend spending a night at Rockmeisha in the W. Village. Me and the Rooms go there frequently for their Fukuoka cooking. They have a good ramen, and all sorts of deep fried goodies. I particularly like their gizzards in ponzu, which might be the best gizzards I’ve ever had. I also like their pigtoe. Their karage w a squirt of lemon is an awesome fried chicken, and their fish-egg wings are great. They have a fried halibut w tartar sauce made from Kewpie msg-mayo that is like filet o’ fish on crack. Give me that FISH! Finally, I always leave the place drunker than a Japanese businessman. That is all.

  • I don’t think I need to be cured :) I’ve had ramen (the real kind, though I did grow up eating the brick of dehydrated ramen with the foil packets of salt), as well as soba, green curry, katsu, etc… all are edible.

    That said, Rockmeisha sounds like what I’ll have to steer people towards if I’m ever requested to partake in japanese food. Typically if people want japanese food, I steer them towards Kum Gang San where I can have Korean, and they can have sushi/sashimi/etc (a sushi snob I know really likes their product).

    That said, the one Japanese place I’d probably consider eating at is gogocurry. I like curry in general. My usual order from my local chinese restaurant is chicken or shrimp with broccoli in curry sauce.

    p.s. Fred, it’s more of a *stomp-stomp clap*

  • Darn it….yeah, well, I will fix that next week, I guess

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